We begin our second month of ministry together and I am very pleased with how enthusiastically we are embracing our mission. All around the church there is a buzz as we dream of what we could be and begin new programs. Our worship services have been especially vibrant; through music, words and song, folks are feeling inspired and comforted. Our 11 AM service is full and there is still plenty of room at the 9 AM service. Every week I am meeting new folks, some of whom are returning and some who are new. Let people know that TUCW is in full swing and they are welcome.
Our Small Group Ministry and Worship and Music Ministries are exploring the themes of reason and sacrifice in October. Unitarian Universalists pride themselves on the use of reason in their search for truth and meaning, being naturally skeptical of ideas taken on faith alone. Reason has been the hall mark of our religious method for centuries. And yet, reason has its limits. There are times when we feel compelled to take a stand or act that seem quite contrary to reason itself. Falling in love, for instance, is rarely reasonable. It requires us to be, at times, quite unreasonable, placing ourselves in precarious, if not dangerous, situations.
Indeed, there are times when we need to sacrifice reason for faith. Not faith in the blind sense of the word, but the faith that calls us on to changes we are not at all comfortable with. More than once in my own life, I have put aside the reasonable to follow the path of the heart. Some of my friends think our moving from California to Connecticut was unreasonable. But this move has been all I had dreamed it would be.
Reasonable or not, I am optimistic about our future together. We have a great mission before us; some of that mission is reasonable, other aspects wildly ambitious. Together we will sacrifice our time, talent and treasure to change this congregation and our corner of humanity. Reason is our road, but love is our destination, all of which requires a sacrifice. I ran across this poem by a poet known only as Dieing Embers who describes himself as an ex coal miner and a sufferer of anti-social paranoid depression who is married with four children and two grandsons. I leave it with you as we head into the golden days of Autumn:
The shadows of doubt dance precariously
around the edge of reason
with open arms they taunt me
to trust them
and jump head first into the darkness
that surrounds them
only to find reflected in their soulless eyes
|mine own filled with tears
that hold my dreams captive
prisoners of my own fears
unable to move to think
I wake once more
to watch the shadows dance
as daylight breaks …